Rep. Lesser, Congresswoman DeLauro Blast DeVos, Announce Legislation

August 2, 2018

House Chair of the Banking Committee, Rep. Matthew Lesser (D–Middletown) joined United States Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro’s (CT–03) to blast recent actions by U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and announce new legislation to expand student loan borrower protections.

In 2015, Lesser wrote the nation’s first Student Loan Bill of Rights - applying consumer laws to student loan companies operating in Connecticut, similar to longstanding consumer protections for other financial services industries. The bill has since become a model for legislation in states across the country.

In 2018. Secretary DeVos directed federal student loan servicers to defy Connecticut’s law, and the issue is now being litigated in federal court.

“Matt pioneered the first student loan bill of rights,” Congresswoman DeLauro said at the press conference. “I’m proud to stand with him and his work in defending students…. Matt Lesser is a leader in our community Matt Lesser is operational; he knows how to get things done.”

DeLauro’s Transparency in Student Loan Consolation Act would address key gaps in federal higher education law, which currently allows for misleading or incomplete information that push student loan borrowers into forbearance on their loans.

“Rosa’s bill mirrors and goes beyond the work we’ve begun in Connecticut,” Lesser said. Lesser cited new data showing that 60% of Connecticut students graduate with debt and the average debt load is now over $35,000. “I don’t know if Betsy DeVos knows this or sees this from the deck of her yacht,” he added.

Early Wednesday afternoon, Congresswoman DeLauro and Rep. Lesser held a press conference at the University of New Haven in West Haven, following the introduction of this bill.

Press Release: Rep. Lesser, Congresswoman DeLauro Blast DeVos, Announce Legislation